Bemawu warns SABC of possible strike action

The Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) has warned the SABC that any further reluctance to engage in further consultations regarding important issues could result in a total blackout.

Bemawu has filed an urgent application in the Labour Court to interdict the retrenchment process at the public broadcaster. The hearing will be heard in the Labour Court in Johannesburg next Wednesday.

The SABC has said that some workers who are offered retrenchment will have the opportunity to apply for new positions created in its restructuring plan.

However, Bemawu president Hannes du Buisson says the SABC has provided insufficient information regarding its selection criteria to retrench workers, especially in the news department.

“Employees are quite demoralised, they are not satisfied with the current state of management at the SABC. We believe that a strike would be well supported. The news department is severely targeted by the intended and if employees are going to go on strike, we believe there would be a total blackout on air,” adds Du Buisson.

The SABC management said it was working on improving its planning systems to ensure that the organisation is financially stable.

This followed engagement between SABC management and Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), which visited the public broadcaster’s head office in Auckland Park, in Johannesburg, to get first-hand information on the financial affairs of the organisation.

The committee said there were discrepancies in the information provided by SABC management and the data in the company’s annual financial statement.